By Shahram Rafizadeh
Protests Over Fabricated Charges Against Students
Coinciding with the growing criticism of student activists with recent arrests and charges by Tehran’s judiciary against student activists at Amir Kabir University, the Center for Defenders of Human Rights and the Committee for Investigating Rogue Arrests issued separate statements warning about the increasing suppression of civil society activists.
In separate reactions, students from the Mashhad University and members of the Islamic Student Associations of Eastern Universities held symbolic fasting and prayer sessions in solidarity with detained Amir Kabir University students. They also released a statement noting, “The use of inquisition era practices that existed in Europe is over, and judge [Hassan] Haddad’s dream of returning Iran to the pre-revolutionary dark ages is comical and unattainable.” Meanwhile, students from universities in Tehran also held symbolic fasting sessions to protest student arrests in recent months. These students condemned ”physical and psychological hardships imposed on arrested students” and “accusations connecting student activists with the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization.”
Majid Tavakkoli, Hossein Tarkashvand, Esmaeil Salmanpour, Koroush Daneshyar, Abbas Hakimzadeh, Mehdi Mashayekhi, Ahmad Ghassaban, Nariman Mostavagi, Yaser Torkaman and Masoud Dehghan are among the imprisoned students, most of whom were arrested more than three months ago. Shabnam Madadzadeh and Masoud Loghman are the two other arrested students.
Tehran’s prosecutor Hassan Haddad accused students of cooperating with the banned Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization, [an armed group mainly in Iraq] noting, “This information has been revealed in the past two weeks, showing that radical student movements were spearheaded by these individuals and led by the Mojadein-e Khalq Organization.” Haddad also claimed, “Some of these individuals communicated directly with the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization and some indirectly, but knew where the directions are coming from. These individuals were planning certain actions in universities related to the upcoming [presidential] election, but thankfully their plans were foiled with these arrests and revelations.”
Request to Punish Violators of Human Rights
Yesterday, the Center for Defenders of Human Rights released a statement condemning the increasing suppression of civil society activists in Iran, as well as the unfair treatment of those presently behind bars, calling for their release and the punishment of agents responsible for violating the citizenship rights of imprisoned students.
Noting that recent arrests of civil society activists and their lack of access to fair detention and trial processes, the Center for Defenders of Human Rights blasted the accusation of “cooperating with the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization” as a “severe charge that could lead to more severe verdicts,” adding, “These students have been behind bars under unusually harsh circumstances for months.”
The Center for Defenders of Human Rights called for “ending the widespread issuance of arrest warrants,” “adherence to due process in all stages of discovery and trial,” “the release of detained individuals,” and “the immediate punishment of violators of legal rights,” among others.
On the other hand, yesterday, the Committee for Investigating Rogue Arrests issued a statement condemning the “propagation of heavy and baseless charges not applicable to student, civil society and political activists” as well as the “violation of due process and the legal rights of defendants.”
[Posted on Monday, May 4, 2009, at: http://www.roozonline.com/english/archives/2009/05/violators_of_prisoner_rights_m.html]